And the winners are …

Sunshine and song in Minneapolis

grieg winners

Left to right: Sonja Thompson, Justin Spenner, Kathryn Rupp, Thore Dosdall, Kerrigan Bigelow, Sarah Rosales, Evelyn Galstad, Marla Fogderud, and Maria Jette enjoyed the springtime sun outside of Norway House.

Edvard Grieg Society of America

Lovers of Nordic art songs were treated to a dazzling array of songs by Edvard Grieg and five other Norwegian, Finnish, and Icelandic composers at Mindekirken in Minneapolis on May 7. The winners concert was the concluding event in the quadrennial voice competition of the Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota.

Twelve finalists came from various parts of the country to compete for eight cash prizes totaling $6,600. The winners (pianists in parentheses) were:

Young Artist Division

Winner, Young Artist Division: Kerrigan Bigelow, soprano; Emma Luyendik, piano.

Advanced Artist Division

Winner, Advanced Artist Division: Justin Spenner, bass-baritone; Carson Rose Schneider, piano.

Young Artist division:

1st ($1,500) Kerrigan Bigelow

(Emma Luyendik)

2nd ($1,000) Sarah Rosales

(Jordan Buchholz)

3rd ($500) Evelyn Galstad

(Anne Wilson)


Advanced Artist Division:

1st ($1,500)  Justin Anthony Spenner

(Carson Rose Schneider)

2nd ($1,000) Kathryn Rupp

(Bryon Wilson)

3rd ($500) Thore Dosdall

(Carson Rose Schneider)


Two William H. Halverson Prizes were given in the amount of $300 for the most outstanding performance in each division of a song by Edvard Grieg. The prizes were awarded to soprano Kerrigan Bigelow, a sophomore at The Juilliard School where she studies with Elizabeth Bishop, and to bass-baritone Justin Spenner, a resident of Minneapolis who freelances as a performer, producer, and host of the podcast Is This Music?!?!

The competition was coordinated by Sonja Thompson. The judges were Marla Fogderud, Maria Jette, and Sylvia Eckes.

The Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota (EGSMN), led by Margy Sather Peterson, is a program of Norway House. An annual competition for young musicians is one of the principal ways in which EGSMN encourages emerging artists to become acquainted with and to perform the compositions of

Edvard Grieg and other Nordic composers. The 2023 competition, soon to be announced, will be for pianists.

All photos by Sylvia Reynolds Eckes


This article originally appeared in the June 10, 2022, issue of The Norwegian American.

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Sylvia Reynolds Eckes

Sylvia Reynolds Eckes, DMA, is Professor Emerita of Piano, at Ohio University and Past President of the Edvard Grieg Society of America, Inc. She has been appointed Officer, Knight First Class, of the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit for her promotion of Grieg in the United States.